Against most mothers' best wishes, motorcycles are still a popular mode of transportation. Whether that be a commuter scooter in the city or a weekend Harley cruiser. In 2017, there were just over 8.4 million registered motorcycles in the United States. That's a 23-percent increase over the last decade. Pretty good for an industry that is supposedly being diminished by millennials.

Riding a motorcycle no matter where you are is dangerous. The open exposure compared to the confines of a vehicle presents a greater risk of bodily harm. Safety features are better than ever but injuries and death are an ever-present risk. We here at QuoteWizard set out to see which states are the most dangerous for motorcycle riders.

Methodology

We looked at 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fatality figures in each state and compared it with 2017 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) motorcycle registration data to find which states had the highest rate of fatalities per registered motorcycle. Below is a ranking of all 50 states, with 1 being the highest rate of fatalities and 50 being the lowest.

Rank State Registered Motorcycles Fatalities
Fatalities per 10,000 Registered Motorcycles
1 Mississippi 28,262 45 15.92
2 Texas 349,082 435 12.46
3 South Carolina 116,972 140 11.97
4 Hawaii 30,998 34 10.97
5 North Carolina 188,869 199 10.54
6 Florida 587,499 594 10.11
7 Tennessee 181,126 171 9.44
8 Arizona 170,274 157 9.22
9 Kentucky 101,165 93 9.19
10 New Mexico 60,348 48 7.95
11 Nevada 74,740 59 7.89
12 Georgia 203,968 158 7.75
13 Louisiana 113,664 87 7.65
14 Alabama 110,012 84 7.64
15 Missouri 153,905 116 7.54
16 Arkansas 91,127 66 7.24
17 Oklahoma 129,451 93 7.18
18 Rhode Island 28,267 20 7.08
19 Kansas 94,850 64 6.75
20 Delaware 28,267 18 6.37
21 West Virginia 60,683 38 6.26
22 California 822,844 509 6.19
23 Idaho 66,533 38 5.71
24 Connecticut 87,660 50 5.70
25 Utah 84,413 48 5.69
26 Colorado 190,869 108 5.66
27 Oregon 133,760 75 5.61
28 Virginia 195,845 103 5.26
29 Maryland 118,277 62 5.24
30 Wyoming 28,968 15 5.18
31 Indiana 250,904 117 4.66
32 Maine 51,306 23 4.48
33 Alaska 31,550 14 4.44
34 Pennsylvania 372,679 165 4.43
35 Nebraska 55,736 22 3.95
36 New York 389,404 150 3.85
37 Massachusetts 168,931 63 3.73
38 Ohio 409,893 151 3.68
39 Illinois 319,764 116 3.63
40 New Jersey 150,527 54 3.59
41 Washington 235,501 84 3.57
42 New Hampshire 78,962 28 3.55
43 Minnesota 241,556 61 2.53
44 Wisconsin 336,410 83 2.47
45 Iowa 194,606 45 2.31
46 Vermont 30,532 6 1.97
47 North Dakota 120,494 17 1.41
48 South Dakota 120,494 17 1.41
49 Michigan 258,487 25 0.97
50 Montana 293,567 21 0.72

Takeaways

A key pattern we found in fatality rates among states is weather. Colder, more northern states like Alaska and New Hampshire have low fatality rates, while warmer, more southern states like Texas and Mississippi had the highest rates. When you consider that motorcycle riders in Alaska can only ride a few months out of the year, compared to Texas where you can ride all year long, that difference in rideable seasons has a huge impact on the number of fatalities. Warm weather states are most dangerous for motorcycle riders because of the year round chances of road fatalities compared to the limited time frames of colder weather states.